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Teixeira, Mahay, Dotel... Who's Next?

Wait, oh, you don't think we're done yet, do you? We still have one or two prospects slumming about the minors, so yes, there must be more trades on the horizon. Not only that, but by dealing Salty, Andrus, "two pitchers to be named," and Davies, we have obviously fully committed ourselves to making a balls-to-the-wall run at the playoffs this season. In all these trades, though, we haven't secured what many people thought was our biggest need - a quality starting pitcher.

Don't tell me we're going to rely on Buddy Carlyle and Jo-Jo Reyes and a maybe from Lance Cormier the rest of the way. I know Buddy's doing well right now, but he's a minor league journeyman - I'm not holding out hope that he's the answer for the "fourth" man in the rotation. And Jo-Jo is showing how green he is every time out.

We need another starter, dammit! We picked up the extra bullpen pieces - two veteran relievers; we picked up the middle of the order bat - the best guy on the market; what is keeping us from the final piece we need - another quality starter.

We do have a lot of tradable pieces left, not that we "should" use them all (especially prospects), but there are still many pieces that the Braves have in play. Check out our overcrowded bullpen:

Bob Wickman
Rafael Soriano
Octavio Dotel
Tyler Yates
Ron Mahay
Oscar Villarreal
Peter Moylan
Chad Paronto

We're NOT keeping eight pitchers in the bullpen! So who goes and who stays? (And remember we still have to trade away Ledezma.) The only guys who have options left are Yates and Moylan, but they're two of the better options out there - especially Moylan.

With Ledezma and one of these other relievers, we may have some coveted trading pieces that another team, needing bullpen help, may be willing to part with a starter to acquire. Well, a quick scan of playoff teams reveals that no one would likely give up starting pitching, so let's rule out trading our potential extra relievers to a contender. But Ledezma's a development project who is under control for a couple more years, and Yates, Moylan, or Paronto are also under control for a few more years. So it's a possibility that one of the setup guys could go to a team that expects to compete next year and need to strengthen their bullpen.

It's also a possibility that Wickman could go. I don't think it's likely, but it's certainly a possibility. In Dotel, the Braves acquire another power closer arm, and Wickman could bring a decent return on a rent-a-starter.

With whatever happens, and there is bound to be more action with us needing to get rid of Thorman and Ledezma, I hope we secure another starter for our full tilt stretch run.

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